Ever since John took up photography, our hikes have turned into strolls interspersed with numerous long hiatuses while he records our surroundings for posterity. This initially caused a certain amount of friction, until I developed my own obsession—sea glass.
Now John often has to wait for me, while I zigzag slowly along the shore, looking for that elusive glint of colour in the sand. The funny thing is that some beaches are fantastic for glass while others produce only plastic, or rocks, or wood. And I have yet to figure out which beach will harbour an incredible treasure trove and which will disappoint. So I can’t ever assume and just walk on by.
For me, finding a piece of glass or a shard of pottery is a connection to the past as I try and imagine where it came from and how long it has been washed by the waves. It provides me with a memento of where we’ve been that doesn’t take up a lot of room (we live on a boat after all!) and that doesn’t cost anything, except my time and attention.
Though I am all for recycling, I’m also sad that sea glass will become more and more rare as we stop throwing our garbage into the sea. I guess I’ll just have to come up with another obsession when that happens—I’m thinking I’ll try my hand at drawing, in which case I’ll be moving even slower!
Several books have helped me learn more about the wonderful world of sea glass:
Do you collect anything on your travels? Please leave a comment.